Rep. Eric Watson Says NRA Backing His School Safety Act Of 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rep. Eric Watson said the National Rifle Association is backing his School Safety Act of 2013.

He said, "Legislators have heard from countless constituents asking for more security in public schools. Since the drafting of this bill, four school shootings have taken place and more than nine states have inquired about his legislation for consideration in their states."

He said after the Virginia Tech shooting occurred in 2007, the Tennessee General Assembly began working on campus safety in 2008.



“Our community must continue to be vigilant in protecting our children. In Southeast Tennessee, we have a strong sense of responsibility that is the greatest safeguard (defense) against violence in our schools,” Rep. Watson said. “Schools choosing to adopt the policy will have the option to hire security or appoint highly trained staff, with training which is similar to a school resource officer which will be an additional safeguard (safety measure/defense) in protecting students.”

Current state law prohibits public schools from hiring armed security guards, he said.

Rep. Watson noted that not all schools across Tennessee have school resource officers, including several within his district. “School Resource Officers are an important part of the solution to the threats facing our students. However, SRO’s are often tasked with other responsibilities such as in-service training and court that prevent their presence at all times in our schools. This legislation will allow the local school system to fill in those gaps,” Rep. Watson stated.

“Since 2008, Campus safety has been studied by the General Assembly and it's time we take action and give our local schools more options to protect our kids.” he said.

Of the 132 members of the Tennessee General Assembly, only seven received an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, he noted. Rep. Watson was one of those seven and he pointed out that he is the only member of the General Assembly who provides free handgun permit classes for the constituents of his district.


Police Seek Lookout Mountain Man, 73, Missing Since Friday; Van Reportedly Found At Trion

The Dade County Sheriff's Department is looking for Freddie Wooten, 73. Mr. Wooten was driving a 2002 Ford Windstar minivan with the license plate number, THM1418. He was last seen wearing a light blue shirt and navy pants. His van was reportedly found in a pool in Trion, Ga., with no sign of him. Anyone who has seen Mr. Wooten, or has information regarding the case, ... (click for more)

Dog Saves Woman From Fire At Highway 58 Area

A homeowner reported that her dog saved her life early Friday morning. At 12:52 a.m. , the homeowner called 911 reporting a fire at 8411 Providence Road (Highway 58 area). The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived reporting a log cabin with flames coming through the roof. Firefighters worked quickly to contain the fire, but it was a challenge due to  ... (click for more)

Don't Be Quick To Discard Common Core

Let's not be too quick to discard Common Core. A recent article in the Tennessean on  Sunday detailed Common Core successes the Kingsport, Tennessee school system.  I encourage you to read it.  The article also noted that Tennessee was recently ranked as one of the fastest improving states in education after implementing portions of the Common Core curriculum ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Tubman Goat-Roping

Every spring there comes a bright day on the ranch when the straw-boss decrees a goat-roping should take place. What really happens is the veteran cowboys arm the greenhorns with some lariats late in the afternoon and take them to the pen that holds some Billy goats. This is before they get into bigger beasts -- horses and cattle – yet what appears to be easy most certainly is not. ... (click for more)

Football Mocs Receive No. 8 Seed For FCS Playoffs

The hugs, high fives and first pumps by the Tennessee at Chattanooga football players late Sunday morning let everyone know in Moc Nation that the Blue and Gold had received a highy-coveted seed and would be hosting a second round NCAA FCS playoff game Dec 6 at Finley Stadium at 1 p.m. "When the television announcers called our name as the No.8 seed (out of eight ... (click for more)

Missouri Hangs On, Turns Back Tennessee, 29-21

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Missouri pin-pricked Joshua Dobbs’ bubble of invincibility Saturday night at Neyland Stadium. The nationally ranked Tigers drove a stake in Tennessee’s heart with Maty Mauk’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt in the fourth quarter, held Dobbs in check most of the game and beat the Vols, 29-21, before 95,821 fans on a chilly night on the banks of the Tennessee ... (click for more)